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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

What are the symptoms that appear before kidney failure?


Kidney failure is a serious condition that occurs when the kidneys are unable to filter waste products and excess fluid from the blood. This can lead to a buildup of toxins and imbalances in the body, which can affect various organs and systems. Kidney failure can be acute or chronic, depending on how quickly it develops and how long it lasts. Acute kidney failure happens suddenly, usually within a few days or weeks, and can be caused by factors such as infection, injury, or reduced blood flow to the kidneys. Chronic kidney failure develops gradually, usually over months or years, and can be caused by conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease.


The symptoms of kidney failure may vary depending on the type, cause, and severity of the condition. However, some common signs and symptoms that may indicate kidney failure are:

  • Decreased urine output or changes in the color, smell, or appearance of the urine. This can be a sign that the kidneys are not filtering properly or that there is a blockage in the urinary tract.

  • Swelling of the legs, ankles, feet, or face. This can be a sign of fluid retention, which can occur when the kidneys are not able to remove excess fluid from the body.

  • Fatigue, weakness, or difficulty concentrating. This can be a sign of anemia, which can occur when the kidneys are not able to produce enough red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues and organs, and a lack of oxygen can affect the brain and muscles.

  • Nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite. This can be a sign of a buildup of waste products and toxins in the blood, which can affect the digestive system and cause nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite.

  • Shortness of breath or chest pain. This can be a sign of fluid buildup in the lungs or heart problems, which can occur when the kidneys are not able to regulate the blood pressure and volume.

  • Itching, dry skin, or muscle cramps. This can be a sign of mineral and bone disorders, which can occur when the kidneys are not able to maintain the right balance of minerals and nutrients in the blood. This can affect the skin, nerves, and muscles, and cause itching, dry skin, or muscle cramps.

  • Blood in the urine or foamy urine. This can be a sign of damage to the kidneys or the filters in the kidneys, which can cause blood cells or protein to leak into the urine. This can make the urine look red, brown, or foamy.


If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible. Kidney failure can be diagnosed by a physical examination, blood tests, urine tests, imaging tests, or a kidney biopsy. The treatment for kidney failure depends on the type, cause, and severity of the condition, and may include medication, dialysis, or kidney transplantation. Kidney failure can be life-threatening if left untreated, but it can also be prevented or delayed by managing the underlying conditions and risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease.


Some lifestyle changes that can help protect your kidneys are:

  • Drink enough water and avoid dehydration

  • Eat a balanced diet that is low in salt, sugar, and fat

  • Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco

  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight

  • Follow your doctor’s advice and take your prescribed medications

  • Monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels

  • Avoid using over-the-counter painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs without consulting your doctor

  • Seek medical attention if you have signs of infection, injury, or reduced blood flow to the kidneys


By being aware of the symptoms and causes of kidney failure, and by taking care of your health and your kidneys, you can reduce your risk of developing this serious condition and improve your quality of life.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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